Nvidia crosses into $1 trillion market cap before giving back gains

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Nvidia hit a $1 trillion market cap at the open Tuesday before paring back gains, falling to $990 billion.

Nvidia’s shares had to hold above $404.86 to maintain that distinction throughout the day. The stock gave back some of its gains by late afternoon trading, holding on to a fresh 52-week high but falling back just below a $1 trillion valuation, where it would close.

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The chipmaker’s shares rocketed last week after it posted quarterly earnings with top- and bottom-line numbers that significantly beat consensus estimates. Nvidia’s gain buoyed other chipmakers, with the notable exception of Intel, and was also fueled in part by estimates that were more optimistic than expected.

Significantly, Nvidia forecast $11 billion in sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2024 alone. The expected sales were 50% higher than consensus estimates of $7.15 billion.

It’s been a banner year for chipmakers, parts of the tech industry and the Nasdaq, driven in part by the artificial intelligence frenzy and the possibility of slowing Federal Reserve rate hikes. Alongside Nvidia, Alphabet, Meta and Microsoft were also buoyed in last week’s trading.

Nvidia’s graphics processing units, or GPUs, are critical to generative AI platforms like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard. The company has historically been a leader in the so-called discrete or stand-alone GPU field, but until recently, many consumers thought of GPUs as primarily used for intensive gaming.

The advent of crypto mining and AI has upended that belief, and GPU manufacturers and suppliers, including Nvidia, Advanced Micro Devices and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, have seen share prices rise significantly over the last few months.

By contrast, Intel, which struggled with inventory issues and development challenges, has been historically focused on the chip market for central processing units, or CPUs. The company hasn’t shared, comparatively, in the wave of investor interest.

Trillion-dollar market cap club

Symbol Name Market Value YTD %
AAPL Apple Inc. $2.759 Trillion 36.4
MSFT Microsoft Corporation $2.475 Trillion 38.9
GOOGL Alphabet Inc. Class A $1.587 Trillion 40.83
AMZN, Inc. $1.232 Trillion 46.05
NVDA NVIDIA Corporation $1.00 Trillion *Briefly 177.23

Source: FactSet

Nvidia’s Tuesday morning market cap places it alongside a handful of other companies, including Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, and Microsoft, that have a $1 trillion or more valuation. Nvidia shares were already up 166.5% year to date before Tuesday’s open.

CNBC’s Kif Leswing, John Melloy and Gina Francolla contributed to this report.

Clarification: This story has been updated to clarify that Nvidia forecasted $11 billion in sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2024.

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